Capital Research Center

Capital Research Center (CRC)


The Capital Research Center (CRC) was founded in 1984 to “study non-profit organizations, with a special focus on reviving the American traditions of charity, philanthropy, and voluntarism.” [1]

CRC claims it “exposes liberal bias” in government and nonprofit organizations by monitoring groups that it describes as “promote[ing] the growth of the welfare state.”

As part of the conservative campaign to 'Defund the left' the Capital Research Center produces a range of publications targeting foundations, unions and activist groups that it views as supporting liberal causes.

Its key monthly publications include:

  • Organization Trends that reports on and analyzes the activities of advocacy organizations;
  • Labor Watch that scrutinizes union contributions and activism;
  • Foundation Watch that “examines the grantmaking of private foundations”; and
  • Compassion & Culture, discontinued in 2009, which highlighted the “work of small, locally based charities that help the needy.”

It also publishes Patterns in Corporate Philanthropy, which documents corporate donations to non-profit groups. CRC also host two other projects:

  • Green Watch, which it describes as a project dedicated to “monitoring the leadership, activities and funding of the liberal environmentalist movement” [2]
  • Searchlight.

Stance on Climate Change

“Despite environmentalist claims of a 'consensus' on global warming, climate science is contentious.” [3]


According to Greenpeace's ExxonSecrets, CRC has received $265,000 from ExxonMobil since 1998. [4]

ExxonMobil announced that the Capital Research Center would be one of nine groups it would stop funding in 2008 that had been associated with global warming skepticism. Exxon had made a similar promise in 2007, but most of the organizations continued to receive funding. [5]

Media Transparency breaks down CRC's funding as follows: [6]

According to one source, CRC appears to have received $50,000 from the Tobacco Company Phillip Morris.

Key People

The following information is taken from the Capital Research Foundation SourceWatch entry. [7]. Also, see an archive of the CRC website.

Board of Directors

According to the Capital Research Center website, accessed June 2011, the board of directors are:

Former board members:

The December edition of CRC's Foundation Watch newsletter stated that Barbara Kenney joined the board in late 2003. However, it did not mention who had left.


Former Staff

According to Sourcewatch, the membership of the Capital Research Center's National Advisory Board was listed on its website in 2001. However, it does not disclose the current membership of the board.

  • Tom Holt, appears to have been a past CRC “visiting fellow.” Holt has advocated legal reforms that would make it more difficult to sue corporations on the premise that “the consumer movement has imposed significant costs on industry–costs ultimately passed on to consumers–and has violated individual freedoms in a futile effort to protect us from our own actions and judgment.” [8]


August, 2002

Terrence Scanlon of CRC was a signatory to a letter to President Bush, applauding his decision not to attend the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) in Johannesburg.

“Environmentally and socially irresponsible corporations and their operatives are lobbying the Administration to snub the Summit and halt any progress toward addressing environmental accountability and global climate change,” said Friends of the Earth President, Dr. Brent Blackwelder. [9]

September, 2001

In the press release launching the Greenwatch site in the fall of 2001, Rep. Butch Otter (R-ID), called the groups included in the Greenwatch database “extremists,” and declared the purpose of the database was to “monitor and keep the extremists in check.” [10]


The Capital Research Center published studies criticizing charities such as the American Heart Association, the American Lung Association and the American Cancer Society for their anti-tobacco lobbying efforts. [11]

CRC was later criticized, and it was revealed that Phillip Morris had provided $50,000 in funding to the Capital Research Center. [12]

CRC has also published reports on the “Anti-Smoking Movement,” to which select PM staff were given advance copies.

Related Organizations

CRC is a former member of Alliance for America and is a past member of the Cooler Heads Coalition (CHC).


  1. “About CRC,” Archived December 13, 2010.

  2. Neil Hrab. “'Direct Action': The Tactics of Radical Activism: Part I” (PDF), Organization Trends (Capital Research Center), February, 2004. Archived February 5, 2007.

  3. Bonner Cohen. “The Green Counter-Establishment: How It Holds Power” (PDF), Organization Trends (Capital Research Center). Archived November 27, 2008.

  4. ExxonSecrets Factsheet: Capital Research Center and Greenwatch, CRC.

  5. Exxon Announces Cutoff for Warming Skeptics – Again,” Integrity in Science, June 2, 2008.

  6. Capital Research Center,” Media Transparency. Accessed March 28, 2012.

  7. Capital Research Center,” SourceWatch Profile.

  8. SLAPP Happy: Corporations That Sue to Shut You Up,” PRWatch, Second Quarter 1997, Volume 4, No. 2.

  9. Corporate-funded Lobbyists Aimed to Sabotage Johannesburg Summit” (Press Release,), August 19, 2002. Archived April 29, 2003.

  10. Betsy Z. Russel. “Green extremist site launched,” Spokesman Review, September 14, 2001.

  11. Charities' Anti-Tobacco Lobbying Is Criticized,” Tobacco Documents Online.

  12. White J, Bero LA (February 2004). “Public health under attack: the American Stop Smoking Intervention Study (ASSIST) and the tobacco industry”. Am J Public Health, 94 (2): 240–50. doi:10.2105/AJPH.94.2.240. PMID 14759933. PMC 1448234.

  13. The Capital Research Center: A Rising Star in the Crowded Universe of Right-Wing Think Tanks,” CultureWatch Online, Issue No. 36, October 1996. Archived October 15, 2000.

  14. Capital Research Center,” Wikipedia Entry.